Spinach is recommended for breast cancer in moderation

Like beets and Swiss chard, spinach (Spinacia oleracea) belongs to the amaranth family. Spinach is a good dietary source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, folate, and vitamin K, as well as iron, manganese and magnesium. Spinach contains various carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein, as well as flavonoids such as kaempferol, and a variety of lignans, chlorophylls, and glycolipids with suspected or demonstrated cancer fighting properties. Spinach has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, and antimutagenic properties, and to protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Spinach components have been shown to inhibit growth and proliferation of cervical cancer cells in the laboratory and carcinogen-induced colon cancer in mice. Dietary intake of spinach has been found to be associated with lower risks of head and neck, lung, gallbladder, stomach, liver, bladder, prostate and ovarian cancer in population studies.

Carotenoids and glycolipids isolated from spinach have been demonstrated to cause dose-dependent growth inhibition in breast cancer cells. Several population studies have found that spinach consumption is associated with lower risk of breast cancer. Spinach consumption may help counteract the cancer-promoting effects of the heme iron in red meat.

Baby spinach has higher flavonoid concentration than mature spinach. Red spinach (Amaranthus gangeticus) is a plant used in South Asian cooking that is closely related to common spinach. Based on the few studies that have been performed, red spinach appears to have anti-cancer activities similar to that of common spinach.

Spinach contains oxalic acid, which interferes with calcium absorption, and therefore spinach should not be eaten at the same time as calcium-rich foods by breast cancer patients and others to whom calcium levels are important. Boiling reduces the oxalic acid content of spinach and increases iron availability.

Non-organic spinach must be washed very thoroughly to remove pesticide residue as much as possible.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list, including less recent studies, please click on spinach.

Tags: betaCarotene, calcium, carotenoid, folate, inflammation, iron, kaempferol, lignan, ovarianCancer, proliferation, spinach, vitaminA, vitaminB6, vitaminC, vitaminD

Effects of cooking techniques on vegetable pigments: a meta-analytic approach to carotenoid and anthocyanin levels BIOACTIVE COMPONENTS OF SPINACH AND THEIR EFFECT ON SOME PATHO PHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS: A REVIEW Determination of Phenolic Compounds in Artichoke, Garlic and Spinach by Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry Adolescent Carotenoid Intake and Benign Breast Disease Specific carotenoid intake is inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer among Chinese women Circulating Carotenoids and Risk of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis of Eight Prospective Studies Antioxidant Activity of Brazilian Vegetables and Its Relation with Phenolic Composition Dietary compared with blood concentrations of carotenoids and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies Carotenoid intakes and risk of breast cancer defined by estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor status: a pooled analysis of 18 prospective cohort studies Fruit and vegetables consumption and breast cancer risk: the EPIC Italy study Kaempferol protects against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in vivo and in vitro Cancer chemoprevention by dietary chlorophylls: A 12,000-animal dose-dose matrix biomarker and tumor study Potential Risks Resulting from Fruit/Vegetable-Drug Interactions: Effects on Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes and Drug Transporters Impact of spinach consumption on DNA stability in peripheral lymphocytes and on biochemical blood parameters: results of a human intervention trial Dietary flavones and flavonones display differential effects on aromatase (CYP19) transcription in the breast cancer cells MCF-7 Circulating Carotenoids, Mammographic Density, and Subsequent Risk of Breast Cancer Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage Relative Inhibition of Lipid Peroxidation, Cyclooxygenase Enzymes, and Human Tumor Cell Proliferation by Natural Food Colors Inhibitory effects of glycolipids fraction from spinach on mammalian DNA polymerase activity and human cancer cell proliferation

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